Walla Walla Valley, WA
The Walla Walla Valley straddles southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon. Walla Walla translates to “many waters” in reference to the land’s proximity to the Columbia, Snake and Walla Walla Rivers. Rain is a seldom occurrence here and the area only receives about 15 inches of annual rainfall. Like the rest of the Columbia Valley, the landscapes and soils of Walla Walla were largely shaped by the cataclysmic Missoula Floods which swept through at the end of the last Ice Age. The Walla Walla Silt Soil left behind is a well drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood slackwater deposits and fractured basalt.
Marsanne is the workhorse white grape of the Northern Rhone Valley. It comprises the majority of the white blends from Hermitage, Crozes- Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph. The famed Syrah based reds of Hermitage can also include up to 15% Marsanne. Marsanne is a powerful white wine that can be bottled on its own but is more often blended with Roussanne and Viognier. Wines made from Marsanne are noted for their richness and depth. They are almost always fermented to complete dryness and have excellent aging potential. They also tend to have more intense color than other white Rhones as well a surprisingly fresh, nutty aroma.